Sometimes It’s What You Can’t See

Hello everybody! Today happens to be one of those times when a common quandary becomes crystal clear – at least for the immediate post. If you happen to carry large glass into the field, I am sure you’ve been questioned as to whether you are a birder or a photographer. I’ve noted in the past my feelings toward that inquiry and will not belabor that point for the sanity of my readers. Doubt aside, the answer to that question for this particular series is — I’m a birder. Has there been enlightenment, an epiphany or some form of life clarity that has put everything into perspective? Nope – very simply, these pictures basically suck hehehe. No way around it, soft, cluttered, difficult to discern, boring … pick your negative critique of choice, they are there in all their dark glory. Why bother subjecting you to such poor images? The answer is – it actually fits the narrative (oh, and it makes my other images look that much better ha).

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

Today’s featured feathered friend is a bit of a creep:

“I wish I was special

But I’m a creep

I’m a weirdo

What the hell am I doing here?

I don’t belong here.”

Figured I would go ahead and provide you the lyrics because if you were around the alt scene in the early 90’s I guarantee you started singing that song as soon as you saw that word – complete with adult words.

But I’m not talking about Yorke’s drunk trying to get the attention of a woman.. in this case I’m referring to the stealthy little forest bird called the Brown Creeper.

Hit the jump see some more truly craptastic shots of our stealthy friend.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

Luckily the Creeper has been featured previously here on Intrigued and those shots were taken by the photographer (link here). I recommend checking out that post if you really want to see the detailed features of this bird. Today the focus (oops a photography term) is on what you can’t see vs what you can see. As a quick background, our specimen was found in our backyard way back on 11/24/20. I’ll pause there for just a bit to allow that to sink in … a mere 15 days ago (not years) – how is that for a fresh post!

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

As we were forced by the pandemic to work remotely, I opted to set up my office in the kitchen. Kudos to my wife for accommodating that and only pointing out the fact we each have our own den/office a paltry once or twice a day. Trust me, I didn’t do it just to punish Linda for retiring before me…the real reason is our kitchen is set out providing a 180 degree view of the woods. Basically put my office desk in the middle of a forest with full access to whatever wildlife wanted to join my meetings.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

Earlier in November, I was sitting there and noticed a large bullet come in from the side and embed itself into the side of our closest tree. It happened so fast I wasn’t exactly sure what had happened – small, darkish object flashed by and then disappeared into the trunk. Squinted, changed angles, went closer to the windows – nothing provided a clue to what just happened. Mid-conference call at the time, decided it was imagined and opted to let it go. Would periodically glance over during the rest of the call, but nothing explained it.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

On the 24th I was sitting at my wilderness desk when the EXACT same thing happened. Object flashes by and embeds itself in the tree. This time I was not in a call and quickly went out on the porch to investigate. After searching around, spotted a small white line making its way up the trunk – creeping if you will. Now it made sense as I was able to discern the sliver of white from the chest feathering, the thin curved bill and those ridiculously oversized feet. Quickly grabbed The Beast and went back to tin the well camouflaged bird. Inevitably, I would lose it as it changed angles or covered up the chest, re-locate the white stripe further up the tree and then try to cut through branches and convince the sensor there was really a bird hidden on the trunk.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

The results of all this was a new appreciation for what I couldn’t see. This tiny bird’s feathering blended perfectly into its surroundings. This was my first sighting of the Creeper since we moved to our new home in the woods – hell, it was the first sighting of a Creeper outside of the Colorado series referenced above. How often has it visited me in the past, has it always been coming around and I just never noticed – never spotting it dancing from tree to tree against a lighter background. No longer do I doubt Cornell’s region maps. I’m smarter now and will be keeping my eyes open for the next visitor. Fingers crossed those sightings will come with better photography execution … but then again.. I kinda like being able to claim the “birder” role!

Stay safe everyone and hope you enjoyed this rather fresh post … don’t get used to it!!

14 thoughts on “Sometimes It’s What You Can’t See”

  1. We have an almost identical species here, the Tree Creeper. Checked out the Latin names and they are different. In thirty years at the last place I only recorded three in the garden and the only shots I got make yours look like works of David Bailey! Yet I’m always seeing them on walks in woodland but just can’t tin one (did you know they can only creep UP trees and have to fly low down to start again?).
    Having your office located where you did I’m surprised you got any work done!
    Take care Mr & Mrs B, have a good week!
    (bloody hell shots from this year!!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did look up the Tree Creeper – you absolutely right, very similar even down to the massive feet and the same creeping behavior – had no idea these Creepers go only one way, but as soon as I read that it occurred to me I had never witnessed them going down like our Nuthatches. Thanks for that extra bit of knowledge. They are definitely devils to get in the tin – by the time I got the Beast on target it would leap up and do its best to maximize the branch obstructions. Admittedly, the selected location of the virtual office was optimized for non-work viewing, but luckily every meeting inevitably had time to wander a bit as some attendees like to hear themselves talk (you develop a keen filter over your career ha). The frustrating part was not being able to rush out of the house and get shots of all the interesting activity at the wood’s edge – even had to let a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers pass through without fanfare – that is when I knew it was time to retire as I’d be out there tracking them through the entire woods if it was a weekend with whatever clothing I happened to have on at the time of sighting – Mrs B can tell you some embarrassing stories about those episodes.

      I thought you would appreciate the fresh images – definitely do not get used to that – goal next year is to be much more current – until then I need to flush the queue a bit. Thanks for dropping in B! also appreciate the extra knowledge you provided. Keep the walks up.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I take the seat at our kitchen table that also looks out the back into the yard. My wife sometimes complains during dinner conversations that I’m looking through her instead of listening. That only triggers a Beatles song to come to mind which, if I began to sing out loud, might piss her off even more!
    “Your lips are moving, I cannot hear… I’m looking through you, you’re not the same…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can relate to that somewhat, although most of the time Linda is looking out at the woods at the same time so I only get in trouble some of the time. I don’t know about bringing up the fab four around here, I was born and raised on the Stones so there might be a conflict of interest – although I do have a extreme dislike for Yoko hehehe . Thanks for dropping in William – I’ve definitely been enjoying your recent posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! The old Stones/Beatles debate. I nearly got in a fist fight on the church platform with our guitar player as we were waiting for worship service to begin and started “discussing” who is best! That would have been a seen to explain to our pastor. But yes, we can see eye to eye on Yoko!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A fight on the church platform… now that would have been quite the show…and agree would have been quite the discussion with the pastor (probably similar to the ones I had when I was an alter boy and let my attention wander).


    1. Linda thanks the heavens every day that our neighbors are a loooong way off ha! If the birds ever get cameras and access to the Internet, I’m doomed. Remember, don’t get too used to anything this fresh – have a mission to more current, but a month away is probably out of the question on any regularity hehehe. Thanks for dropping in CJ!

      Liked by 1 person

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